Fife hospital plea: wear a mask and don’t abuse our staff

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Fifers have been urged to wear a mask if they are visiting relatives in hospital over the festive season - and said any abuse to staff who challenge people over the issue will not be tolerated.

The reminder was issued by NHS Fife as it said cases of COVID were rising again in communities.

The latest figures show that in the week to December 8, there were eight deaths related to the virus in Fife.

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Now, hospital bosses have highlighted the importance of wearing a mask in all hospitals across the Kingdom.

Health bosses say abuse of staff who challenge visitors will not be toleratedHealth bosses say abuse of staff who challenge visitors will not be tolerated
Health bosses say abuse of staff who challenge visitors will not be tolerated

It said visitors are still required to wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (FRSM) in all clinical areas, unless they are are exempt. Masks are available free of charge at main entrances of all hospital sites.

Janette Keenan, director of nursing, explained why it was vital people continue to comply with the guidance.

She said: “COVID-19 still poses a threat, and we are seeing case numbers rise again in our communities. It is vital that visitors to the clinical areas of our hospitals wear fluid-resistant masks to help protect our most clinically vulnerable patients, who are at greater risk from COVID-19 infection.

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“Wearing masks in clinical areas also helps protect our hard-working NHS staff, who care for them. It’s important we all do what we can to reduce the risk of infection or outbreaks on our wards, which leads to extra pressure on our hospitals at an incredibly busy time.”

As well as reminders on NHS Fife’s social media channels, posters will also be displayed in hospitals to highlight clinical areas where a mask should be worn.

Janette added: “Unfortunately, we’ve had instances where staff who’ve challenged visitors about wearing masks have been subjected to verbal abuse. I’d remind everyone that abuse of any kind towards our staff will not be tolerated.

“We have also seen recent examples where COVID-19 has been brought into areas where visitors have frequently refused to wear a mask. This leads to wards having to be closed and restrictions placed on visiting, which no-one wants at this time of year.

“We’re asking everyone to help us protect both the vulnerable people in our care and our staff by playing their part this festive season and wearing a mask in our hospitals.”

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